Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman Review: Full Results:
As for the fights themselves, the six fights that were broadcast on FOX TV or on PPV were mostly intriguing whether it was the matchup on paper or the end result. Even without Manny Pacquiao beating Keith Thurman in a thrilling contest, there was still a lot to take from the July 20 PBC card from the MGM Gran in Las Vegas.
The four-fight main card started with Luis Nery having a solid bout against Juan Carlos Payano, which Nery won in the ninth round after a slow start. In the end, the objective was to have Nery win in the hopes of PBC staging a WBC bantamweight title fight between him and the winner of an eventual fight involving current champion Nordine Oubaali and interim titleholder Takuma Inoue in the future. In other fights on the main card, Sergey Lipinets and Yordenis Ugas picked up wins that puts them in the welterweight title hunt with impressive displays against Jayar Inson and Omar Figueroa Jr., respectively.
There was a prelim card that aired on FOX that not only featured Caleb Plant defending his IBF super middleweight title against Mike Lee but also heavyweight prospects Efe Ajagba and Ali Eren Demirezen facing off in a battle of 2016 Olympians. The TV card averaged 923,000 viewers (269,000 in the 18-49 demo) and drew a 0.62 household rating. The average viewership is the lowest for a PBC on FOX card throughout all of 2019. PBC’s last card prior to July 20 was the June 23 event headlined by Jermell Charlo vs. Jorge Cota and that card, which took place on a Sunday, averaged 1.211 million viewers. The last PBC on FOX card that took place on a Saturday was on May 11 and that show averaged 1.385 million viewers.
Plant's win over Lee certainly puts him in a solid position to think about unifying with the WBC titleholder in 2020 but there's still plenty to do before we get to that point. For starters, Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez are set to face off for the title on September 28 in Los Angeles, but then afterwards, the winner will face Avni Yildirim next.
- Manny Pacquiao defeated (114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao, 115-112 Pacquiao) to win the WBA "Super" Welteweight Title: Starting off, Pacquiao delivered a stunning left hand that dropped Thurman late in the first round, sending the crowd at the MGM Grand into a frenzy. Thurman managed to get back up, but failed to answer most of what Pacquiao threw in the next few rounds, mainly Pacquiao’s left hand. As the fight progressed, Thurman started to figure out is opponent’s rhythm and was able to land combinations of his own and occasionally connect with the straight right hand. Thurman outworked Pacquiao in the middle rounds and even in moments where Pacquiao was able to quickly take control of the fight, Thurman would halt the Filipino’s momentum with the right hand. As soon as Pacquiao appeared to start fading late in the fight, he was able to catch his second wind and land several body shots that hurt Thurman in the 10th round. Thurman did manage to hit Pacquiao with a right hook upstairs, it was still an uphill battle for him to win the fight on the scorecards without dropping Pacquiao. Even with one scorecard in favor of Thurman, it was the absolute best he could hope for given Pacquiao’s strong start and eye-catching 10th round.
- Yordenis Ugas defeated Omar Figueroa by unanimous decision (119-107, 119-107, 119-107) to win a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator: Ugas started off well by scoring a knockdown in the first round. Although Figueroa never went down to the canvas from a right hand thrown by Ugas, the ropes saved Figueroa from fully going down, prompting the referee to give him a 10-count. From that point onward, Ugas outworked Figueroa, landing numerous big punches and bruising his face throughout the bout. A brief glimmer of hope for Figueroa to get the upper hand on the scorecards came in the fifth round when Ugas was deducted a point for excessive holding. But it ultimately did not matter as Ugas continued dominating for the rest of the fight.
- Sergey Lipinets defeated Jayar Inson by KO, round 2, 0:57 to win the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Title: Early in the second round, Lipinets landed a vicious overhand left that sent Inson to the canvas. Although Inson got back up, the referee decided to stop the fight regardless. Inson came into the fight replacing the injured John Molina Jr., who withdrew from the fight against Lipinets the day before due to a back injury.
- Luis Nery defeated Juan Carlos Payano by KO, round 9, 1:43 to retain the WBC Silver Bantamweight Title: Payano started the fight well outboxing the stronger Nery, who barely got to land much in the first couple of rounds. But as the fight progressed, Nery got more confident throwing punches and in the ninth round, took out Payano with a body shot to improve his record to 30-0 and pick up his 11th straight win inside the distance.
- Caleb Plant defeated Mike Lee by TKO, round 3, 1:29 to retain the IBF Super Middleweight Title: Plant connected on a big left hand in the first round to drop Lee after taking control of the bout from the opening bell. Lee survived and continued fighting, but never put Plant under any danger as the champion consistently landed big combinations. After a relatively quiet second round, Plant quickly dispatched of Lee in the following round. The first knockdown of the third round came from a big right hand that Plant threw. After Lee got back up, he went back down just seconds later thanks to another right hand from Plant. Once Lee recovered from the second knockdown, he went into a very aggressive fighting style to throw off Plant, but the champion remained unfazed. Plant landed a left hook to Lee that sent him to the canvas for the final time as the referee stopped the fight there.
- Efe Ajagba defeated Ali Eren Demirezen by unanimous decision (97-93, 99-91, 99-91)
- John Leo Dato defeated Juan Antonio Lopez by KO, round 5, 2:05
- Genesis Libranza defeated Carlos Maldonado by TKO, round 4, 2:58
- Abel Ramos defeated Jimmy Williams by TKO, round 4, 2:43
- From The Web